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Thread: Joe Webb on his move to receiver: 'It can be a good thing'

  1. #1

    Joe Webb on his move to receiver: 'It can be a good thing'

    Joe Webb on his move to receiver: 'It can be a good thing'
    By Bob Sansevere
    bsansevere@pioneerpress.com
    Posted: 05/29/2013 12:01:00 AM CDT
    Updated: 05/29/2013 11:51:50 PM CDT


    Cornerback Roderick Williams, left, covers wide receiver Joe Webb as the Minnesota Vikings practice Wednesday. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

    See more photos

    Wide receiver Joe Webb spoke with the media after practice. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

    Joe Webb stayed around after the Vikings finished practice during Wednesday's organized team activities to put in some extra work with quarterback Christian Ponder. Webb was Ponder's backup last year, but if he makes the team this season, he won't be behind Ponder. He'll be in front of him, running routes.

    Webb has been switched to wide receiver, the position the Vikings originally planned for him when he was picked up in the sixth round of the 2010 draft.

    "He has very good hands," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "He knows the offense very well. He's actually helping some of the young guys understand where to line up."

    Frazier said one of the challenges facing Webb is being "able to grasp the route-running part of it fast enough to give himself the best chance to go out and really have a chance to make the transition smoothly when we get to training camp. But knowing how hard he works and how much he wants to succeed as a receiver, he'll have a very good chance of getting that done."

    Webb also took a few snaps as a gunner -- the guy who runs down the sideline to cover on punts and kickoffs.

    I talked to Webb after he finished working with Ponder.

    BS: How is the transition going?

    JW: It's going good. I'm getting better each day. I'm just taking it one step at a time.

    BS: You seem to have pretty good hands out there.

    JW: That's one of the things I've been working on. Once coach informed me of the position

    change, it became one of the most important things I've been working on.
    BS: What's your biggest concern about the switch?

    JW: I don't have concerns. Everybody is going to say catching the ball, running routes, getting open are the main keys for a receiver. I'll just continue to work on those things each day.

    BS: Did you know when the Vikings signed Matt Cassell (to be Ponder's backup) that your days as a backup were numbered?

    JW: I never gave up on quarterback until coach told me what the plan was that they had with me. I'm just going with it.

    BS: Do you wish you were left at quarterback?

    JW: I'm all for the team -- whatever helps the team. I want to get to the Super Bowl just like everyone else. I think Minnesota is a good fit. I'm going to continue to work hard here to bring a championship to (Minnesota).

    BS: Is wide receiver the best position for you other than quarterback?

    JW: I would say yes because I played (some wide receiver) in college. I'm familiar with the position.

    BS: How big an edge is it for you to know, from playing quarterback, how to read a defense?

    JW: It's a big help. I can help the other guys, the other receivers, when they're trying to read a coverage. When we watch film and they're trying to figure out what the coverage is, I can help them out with that. It's a big advantage.

    BS: Are you also going to be a gunner? You were doing some of that during practice.

    JW: I'll go gun down somebody if I have to. No problem with me.

    BS: Every offseason, did you wonder if the Vikings would tell you to go back to wide receiver?

    JW: Nah. You never know the plan with me. Coming out of high school, guys were recruiting me to play receiver, quarterback, safety. I just go with the flow.

    BS: Some guys would be concerned, having to switch from quarterback to wide receiver.

    JW: I just like football. I have a passion for this. I've been playing it since I was a little kid. It's a blessing just to be out here on the field. Some guys graduate from college and don't get a chance to come out here on an NFL field. I'm just happy for the moment and just trying to take advantage of it.

    BS: Have you checked to see what other quarterbacks have made the switch to wide receiver in the NFL?

    JW: Yeah. I know Randall Cobb (of the Green Bay Packers) is one of them. There's the guy who used to play wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers -- Hines Ward. There's Brad Smith (of the Buffalo Bills). Kordell Stewart was one of my favorite guys growing up. It can be a good thing.

  2. #2
    All of those guys have performed very well.
    What is unique is that Webb is much bigger than all of the mentioned WR's and is the fastest !
    This has the potential to be ... dare I say it.... an awesome group of WRs !

  3. #3
    Celebrating in the 1st Deck
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    I'm excited about this group of WRs too. Jennings is solid as long as he an stay healthy, I think Wright will continue to grow into a solid slot WR, Patterson is a raw rookie with huge potential, Simpson had an off year in 2012, but he has the potential for a good bounce back year and Webb is the dark horse with lots of potential too. Throw in Rudolph and Carlson and this could develope into a scary unit for defenses to deal with.
    All he does is catch TOUCHDOWNS!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    So far, all news is good news on the Webb front. Hopefully he can make a solid transition. I doubt much of an impact this year but, I'd hope enough to keep him around. I'd like to see him get a fair shot at reaching his potential.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Carter80 View Post
    I'm excited about this group of WRs too. Jennings is solid as long as he an stay healthy, I think Wright will continue to grow into a solid slot WR, Patterson is a raw rookie with huge potential, Simpson had an off year in 2012, but he has the potential for a good bounce back year and Webb is the dark horse with lots of potential too. Throw in Rudolph and Carlson and this could develope into a scary unit for defenses to deal with.
    I agree with that, now we just need to have a QB who can get the ball to them....hopefully Ponder is that guy...

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by IIsweet View Post
    All of those guys have performed very well.
    What is unique is that Webb is much bigger than all of the mentioned WR's and is the fastest !
    This has the potential to be ... dare I say it.... an awesome group of WRs !
    Anybody remember what Webb's times were at the Combine, or was he even at the combine. Just curious, thanks

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by drunknmunky127 View Post
    So far, all news is good news on the Webb front. Hopefully he can make a solid transition. I doubt much of an impact this year but, I'd hope enough to keep him around. I'd like to see him get a fair shot at reaching his potential.
    Webb is fortunate that even though we got Jennings in FA and drafted Patterson, we lost Harvin and Jenkins. Overall, I certainly feel we net upgraded, but that assumes Patterson can develop quickly. But I digress..

    We still only have Wright, Simpson, Jennings, and Patterson as likely to make the team, and there's no gtee for Simpson. So Webb has a great oppty to make the team as for WR if for no other reason than we really lack depth.

    I wish him well, and hope he can step up and indeed be the next Randall Cobb....that would be nice.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by RedMcCombs View Post
    Anybody remember what Webb's times were at the Combine, or was he even at the combine. Just curious, thanks
    Webb was not invited to the Combine. He did put up a very impressive performance at his UAB Pro Day, to the point that he may have been a top performer at the Combine if given the opportunity.

    Webb measured in at 6026 / 223.

    Bench: 21 reps

    Webb would have been 1st among all WRs at the Combine. Three others tied with 20 reps.

    Vertical: 42.5 inches

    Webb would have been 1st among all WRs at the Combine. Two other players were over 40".

    Broad Jump: 11'5"

    Webb would have been 1st among all WRs at the Combine -- by nearly a foot. Emmanuel Sanders had the high-water mark with a 10'6" jump. Justin Hunter had the best mark in 2013 with an 11'4" jump.

    20 Yard Shuttle: 4.04

    Average of WRs at the 2010 Combine/Pro Days: 4.24. Webb would have been 2nd among all WRs at the Combine.

    Three-cone: 6.71

    Average of WRs at the 2010 Combine/Pro Days: 6.86. Webb would have been 4th among all WRs at the Combine.

    40: 4.44 (4.40-4.56)

    Average of WRs at the 2010 Combine/Pro Days: 4.50. Webb would have been 7th among all WRs at the Combine.

    20-yard Split: 2.55

    Average of WRs at the 2012 Combine/Pro Days: 2.58.

    10-yard Split: 1.54


    Phred's Speed Calculations gave Webb the highest Relative Speed Index (speed relative to size) among all 2010 WRs as well as the highest Explosion Rating (sum of vertical + broad + bench). Unfortunately, there's no indication that either ties into on-field performance. There's little indication that any of the items measured at the Combine tie in, for that matter. What it says is that the athletic potential is there for Webb.

  9. #9
    Thank you Niners lacking, that is very complete and informative. I should have known you would know all the facts.

    As you correctly point out, none of this means he'll be a stud WR, it just confirms the athletic ability is there, now can it be translated to on-field performance and production.

    But good to see he has a nice combination of size and speed, and quickness. He's got a lot of work to do to catch up, but hopefully by focusing just on one position, he can get there. i think that's where the coaching staff has to be smart...rather than throwing too many screwy option plays, for the coming year just have him focus on being the best wide out he can be.

  10. #10
    Another thing that will get overlooked is that with Webb, we will get the best out of both he and CP.
    Reason being that athletes always compare themselves to their competition. These 2 superior athletes have far more athletic ability than anyone else on the roster not named AD. So these 2 will constantly be pushing each other and competing against one another without anyone saying it.
    This is an awesome scenario for us.
    CP could easily take a good approach to practices saying that I am the best WR athlete here, I will turn it on when it counts. BUT, with Webb being the same or better athlete, now there is a constant competition to outdo each other.

    I love it and hence one of my reasons for such optimism.
    I see us getting to a point this season where Musgrave changes his offensive mindset a little and says to Frazier, I just have to get Jennings, CP, and Webb on the field all of the time ! Losing the FB, and going with Rudolph only. Letting AD run against a stretched defense !

    Could be a scary offense if Ponder can produce !

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